Alexa

Taiwanese company lures illegal DVD sellers online to punish copyright violators

Taiwanese company lures illegal DVD sellers online to punish copyright violators

A Taiwanese company is using its employees to pose as online buyers to nab people selling pirated foreign films on the Internet in an unusual way of controlling the fake DVD market, a news report said Sunday.
Basic International, a sales agent for Japanese and Korean film distributors, has been catching people since 2005 trying to sell pirated DVDs on auction sites. The company's employees present themselves online as interested buyers, but then take police officers with them when they go to pick up their purchases.
To avoid a law suit, many of the sellers of the fake discs have paid Basic International fines of up to 200,000 New Taiwan dollars (US$6,000; euro4,400), the newspaper said.
But several of the people caught this way said they felt they had been trapped, as the company had used false pretenses to seek out culprits.
The newspaper quoted Basic International official Tsang Tao-cheng saying violators of intellectual property rights must pay a price for illegal conduct.
The official could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
In Taiwan, individuals selling or distributing pirated books or films can be prosecuted for violating copyright law regardless of the quantity of the copies being sold. They can face prison terms of between one to seven years.
Taiwan tightened its copyright law in 2004 under U.S. pressure. Before then, it only punished those who reproduced copyrighted goods for a profit.